Endorsement: Elizabeth Alcantar for Assembly
Two years ago, when an airplane making an emergency landing at LAX dumped fuel over southeast Los Angeles County — hitting a school where children were playing outside — the mayor of Cudahy jumped into action.
Elizabeth Alcantar immediately organized a town hall for residents to talk to Delta Air Lines and pushed the company to provide healthcare to affected residents for several weeks, when it wanted to cover only three days. She says she has also worked to get Delta to reimburse some of the city’s costs for dealing with the toxic mess and pay for food distribution and a fruit-tree-planting initiative, to make up for the fruits and vegetables residents had to toss after their gardens were doused with jet fuel.
Bold, compassionate leadership like this will make Alcantar a strong representative in the state Capitol. Voters should support her in the June 7 primary election for the 64th Assembly district, which includes Downey, Norwalk, Bell, Bell Gardens, Santa Fe Springs, La Mirada, Cudahy, La Habra and a small sliver of Orange County.
Alcantar is one of six people running for the seat now held by Cristina Garcia, who did not seek reelection because she’s trying to land a seat in Congress. Garcia has endorsed Downey Mayor Blanca Pacheco, an attorney with a record of public service and a measured approach to policy. Pacheco is a strong candidate but has opposed important legislation to allow more duplexes in residential neighborhoods, a necessary change to help create more homes in this housing-starved state.
Here are the L.A. Times’ editorial board endorsements for elected offices in Los Angeles city and county, LAUSD, superior court, statewide offices, the state legislature and U.S. House and Senate seats.
We believe Alcantar is the best choice for voters because of her leadership advocating for environmental justice. The 64th Assembly District is an industry-heavy region where people live with the burdens of freeway pollution and other environmental hazards.
Alcantar’s record of leadership began in 2018 when she was elected to the Cudahy City Council at age 25. Less than two years later she became the city’s youngest and first Latina mayor. She’s still serving as mayor and works as an organizer for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights. On the City Council, Alcantar has pushed for new protections for renters by convincing her colleagues to pass an ordinance that requires landlords to file eviction notices with the city.
A renter herself, Alcantar wants to continue advocating for tenants as a member of the Assembly by pushing for more affordable housing. Most state lawmakers are homeowners, so her experience as a millennial renter would bring needed perspective to statewide policy debates.
The daughter of a garment worker and a butcher, Alcantar credits her father’s union job — and its healthcare benefits — with providing stability to her family. She has strong ties to organized labor and is receiving campaign support from unions representing grocers, nurses and roofers as well as many public employees. As a state lawmaker Alcantar will need to exercise independence from unions if they advocate for policies that are not in the public interest.
Overall, her track record of environmental leadership and community activism — combined with an energetic and authentic approach to public service — has prepared Alcantar for a bigger stage. Voters should send Alcantar to Sacramento.
Read more endorsements at: latimes.com/endorsements.
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